The US-based team behind CyanogenMOD has raised another $23 million in a Series B round from Andreessen Horowitz and Tencent, with participation from Series A funders, Benchmark.
The company has 11 million active installs of its custom Android ROM, a number that has grown quickly thanks to a simplified install process that rolled out earlier this year, (which was subsequently pulled).
While no specific product announcements arrived with the funding news, the cash influx will allow a renewed focus on making CyanogenMOD a platform, with its own brand of Android apps and utilities. The company had already taken steps to build a retinue of Google-independent products: they recently partnered with Open Whisper Systems to encrypt all messages sent between CM users; they partnered with Oppo to launch the first OEM-approved CyanogenMOD smartphone, the N1; and worked to enable screen mirroring to Apple TV and local video playback to all DLNA devices.
Promising “more new things… more often,” the team wants to develop its own design language, and perhaps adapt the CM framework, which is based on the Android Open Source Project, to work on devices other than smartphones and tablets. It’s easy to imagine the core tenets of the OS moving to smartwatches and eyewear, much like OEMs are adapting Android in their own ways.
But CyanogenMOD has an advantage over those OEMs: they’ve already been building on top of stock Android for years, creating features for low-cost hardware that few others have been able to accomplish. Because of CM and other popular custom ROMs like AOKP and Paranoid Android, aging hardware have been given access to the latest versions of the OS with few performance hits or missing features.
It’s an exciting time to be an Android fan, and CyanogenMOD is a large part of that.